Gender and willingness to lead – does the gender composition of teams matter?

93 Pages Posted: 24 Jul 2018 Last revised: 18 May 2020

See all articles by Andreas Born

Andreas Born

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics

Eva Ranehill

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics

Anna Sandberg

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI)

Date Written: March 1, 2020

Abstract

We explore how team gender composition affects willingness to lead by randomly assigning participants in an experiment to male- or female-majority teams. Irrespective of team gender composition, men are substantially more willing than women to lead their team and both men and women are more willing to lead female-majority teams. This effect is statistically significant for the full sample and separately for women. An analysis of mechanisms reveals that a large share of the negative effect of male-majority teams on women’s leadership aspirations is accounted for by a negative effect on women’s confidence, influence, and expected support from team members.

Keywords: leadership, gender differences, experiment

JEL Classification: C92, J16

Suggested Citation

Born, Andreas and Ranehill, Eva and Sandberg, Anna, Gender and willingness to lead – does the gender composition of teams matter? (March 1, 2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3207198 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3207198

Andreas Born

Stockholm School of Economics - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6501
Sveavagen 65
S-113 83 Stockholm
Sweden

Eva Ranehill

University of Gothenburg - Department of Economics ( email )

Vasagatan 1
Gothenburg, 41124
Sweden

Anna Sandberg (Contact Author)

Stockholm University - Swedish Institute for Social Research (SOFI) ( email )

Stockholm University
SE-106 91 Stockholm
Sweden

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